HONOLULU (KHON2) — Friends and family gathered at Sandy Beach to pay tribute to Officer Kaulike Kalama, one of two officers killed in the line of duty responding to a deadly shooting and fire in Diamond Head on January 19.

The candlelight vigil for Officer Kalama started at 6 p.m.

Kalama’s family said that they chose the spot for the vigil because it was Kalama’s favorite beach from when he was young. Even back then, his family said Kalama took pride in making sure everyone was okay.

“That’s just who he was. He took care of everybody – family, friends – he make sure everybody was safe having a good time,” said Keawe Kalama, Officer Kaulike Kalama’s brother.

His family and friends said January 19 is a day they will never forget. It was the day Kalama, with nine years as a Honolulu police officer, put on his uniform and didn’t make it home.

“He heard on the police radio that an officer was in trouble, and crossed from East Oahu district to Waikiki district knowing that he’d be putting himself in danger,” said Grant Pagarigan, Officer Kalama’s academy classmate.

Pagarigan said even then, Kalama was looking to protect others.

“KK had the composure and mind to reassure another officer who was there. He didn’t really know that other officer,” said Pagarigan. “But Officer Kaulike Kalama told him, ‘Don’t worry bro, I got your back. Don’t worry bro I got your back.'”

Many showed up along the beach and even on the side of the road to watch as the vigil took place. Helicopters with the Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department flew overhead to honor Officer Kalama. Even Police Chief Susan Ballard and Mayor Kirk Caldwell attended.

Those gathered lit candles and spread flowers into the sea in Officer Kalama’s honor, they say he will always be their hero, and they want people to know the kind of man he was.

“Just everybody… to remember him. Remember my cousin was a hero,” said Keola Kalama, Officer Kalama’s cousin.

34-year-old Kaulike Kalama is survived by his wife and teenage son.

A spokesman of the family said that there will be a private funeral held later on in March.